Thoughts, comments, gear advice or suggested routes hitching Albuquerque -> Durango -> Ft. Collins -> Lincoln, Neb. in May? (1 Viewer)

Older Than Dirt

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So i am thinking of taking my geriatric ass out west for a bit in May.

Because i am old and soft and scared of hitching through Kansas/Oklahoma, but have never seen anything between Steelville, Mo to Denver on the ground (unless you count Winnipeg and Mexico City as being in North America), i will greyhound it from NYC -> Albuquerque. Flying is of course cheaper but no fun, and i don't get to add any more states to my so-far total of 28, which i know is shameful by StP standards for age 60 (19 countries though).

Then i will hitch from Albuquerque -> Durango to visit a pal who is Primate of Colorado of the Neo-American Church, then Durango -> Ft Collins to visit an old NYC bike messenger comrade who was the first black person to be a pro mountain bike racer. After that i will hitch Denver -> Lincoln, Neb. to visit two friends who are professors there.

Returning to the fact of being old and soft, i will then greyhound Lincoln -> NYC, but via Buffalo after Chicago, seeing parts of my home state i have never seen, and the area in Iowa/Illinois where my dad's people are from that i haven't seen since i was a little kid. This bus trip is actually much cheaper (but much longer of course) than flying, and much more likely to lead to interesting events.

I would appreciate any advice on routing from Durango -> Denver- should i go the way the bus does, up 550 via Grand Junction and then I-70, or go 160 -> I-25 via Pueblo?

Hitching Albuquerque -> Durango looks straightforward as to route and easy, hitching Denver -> Lincoln looks also straightforward, and easy once i fly my "CHRISTIAN IN NEED/GO HUSKERS!" sign.

Will Nebraska cops fuck with me coming from Colorado, looking for the weed i will definitely have on me? I am of course old, and look pretty respectable by StP standards, see pic (but don't own much clothing that is not black)- any thoughts on Nebraska cops on the I-76 out of Colorado to I-80 in Buttfuck, Nebraska, heading east, route?

I figure i will bring MSS patrol bag and bivvy, hammock (are there trees n New Mexico and Nebraska?- i know there are in Colorado), hip-length thermarest, my gear for coffee/ramen over a small fire but no stove (the folding silicon filter cone from Walmart is the nomadic coffee addict's dream set-up), Opinel #8 #9 folding knife (3.5" blade(this part is right), both hands to open or close). Mostly couch/floor-ing it with friends, occasional roadside crashing when no rides and getting dark. Any gear comments? will i be cold? knife laws?

Thanx to anyone who can provide info, first time doing this shit so far off the east coast (other than Europe/Asia) and just no idea really.
 
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Honey Crust

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I’d honestly go for the I-25 Route. Although the mountains would be a beautiful ride, I’ve heard from a bunch of folks that the mountains are hard to hitch through.

I haven’t heard much in the way of cops pulling over Colorado plates recently, and as long as the car you’re riding in itself doesn’t look sketchy you should be fine.

May shouldn’t be too bad, i’d only be worried about the cold if you did end up going through the rockies on I-70.

I was in and around the Denver Metro area for about 4:5 years up until a month ago, so I like to think I know what’s what. I’m gonna be hitching from here to Lincoln in mid April, and then to Chicago after that, so maybe I’ll see ya around! Safe travels!
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Thanx, that sounds very encouraging, and hope we cross paths!

Good point about less gear needed for the flatlands route in Colorado- this is why i asked, to hear from folks who know. Nothing like asking to find shit out as they say.

Please keep it coming!
 

dumpsternavel

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From experience- though I am not a 60 year old male; you can bet on Nebraska cops fucking with you. I usually suggest any, and all to avoid that state. I've only been through twice, not trying to stay long, just the night- to get THROUGH.
Both times, I was hassled by cops. They illegally searched the Rainbow Bus (which I'm aware is not low key, though it was parked at a truck stop) that I was hitching a ride with, and opened up one single pocket on every individual pack 6+ in the bus. (They found a personally hand made pipe of mine)
These assholes also found a small bucket of THE WORST shake weed I've ever seen underneath a bus bench. They pinned that shit on every individual on board as possession of paraphanelia. And expected us to stay in fucking Sydney, Nebraska for at least a week and a half for a court date. Naturally we all said "fuck that" and got to Iowa asap.
I'll never forget the cop patches in Sydney, saying "toughest town on this side of the tracks" type shit.

Which brings me to the 2nd time, of going through Nebraska.
I was hitching, once again. And got a ride with a guy in a van from Wyoming, (with WA plates) bound for KCMO. We stopped in Nebraska city, Nebraska near the Missouri river to sleep for the night.
Dude was still in his van, I was by the river.
Cops rolled up 4 deep at 1 am on this guys van. After enough knocking, and bright lights, dude opens up the car door and rats on our location..
I got taken to jail that night due to the warrant from the previous time I was in town.

All I can say is, as soon as I saw the cops at dude bro's van, I hucked a pipe, weed, and a couple tabs of lsd into the Missouri river. Thankfully..

DO NOT hitch with any paraphanelia while in Nebraska. By the time I was hitching through Illinois, I got picked up by a woman from Indiana who was just passing through, and got locked up for a warrant in Nebraska.
They definitely pray on out-of-towners.
Fuck Nebraska.
Hahahaha
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Damn, that does not sound good at all, thank you.

But, no offense, i have the advantage of not looking like a weirdo. Earring comes out before i leave Colo., other than that, if i cover tats on arms, i look like a normal old guy-- I look sort of like Hunter S. Thompson.

To be clear, Comrade Dumpsternavel, i am a weirdo, and probably have done worse than you've had time to at your young age, but i am as super-undercover as a person with a backpack and thumb out can be.

I think a Bible (which is easy to get free in any city, like say Denver) at the top of the pack will stop most searches short of finding my well-hidden weed. No paraphernalia thanx to your tip, just tobacco pouch and papers to make spliffs. This may be why some folks say "Always Carrry A Bible".

And fucking $85 on the bus from Denver to Lincoln seems too high. I have never been arrested west of Manhattan before, and am out for adventure after all. However, based on your comments, i will see if i can get my professor friends at Univ. of Nebraska at Lincoln to scrounge up some bus fare from their department slush fund. They both make a metric shitload and can probably do this (when i forward them your post- thanx for the solid, Comrade Dumpsternavel, my brother or sister as the case may be!).

Do Neb. cops ever stop buses coming from Colo looking for that weed that turned illegal at the border?
 
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Coywolf

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Hey, Lots of experience hitching that area of Colorado/4-corners, here.

Best bet for hitching is, really, any route outta Durango. But if you want the BEST route hit the Hwy 550 north to Grand Junction. Then hitch the I-70 east to Denver. Hitch from Grand Junction or Glenwood Springs for the best results.

An alternate route is to hitch outta Durango going east on the Hwy 160 to the I-25. However it will be less scenic, and yield less rides.

Honestly, fuck the I-25. And Albuquerque for that matter. Hitching in that part of NM sucks balls, unless you are coming out of Santa Fe. DO NOT hitch out of Gallup, NM!!!! I cannot stress that enough. It is like 60/40 that you will get robbed or assaulted. From experience... Be careful hitching through the Reservation, if you don't have experience up there it *can* be dangerous.

Colorado is literally the best state for hitching outside of Cali/Oregon.
 
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Coywolf

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Also, If you are looking to get out of Albuquerque to Durango, take the RailRunner train to Santa Fe. So much easier to hitch north off of the the 475/84 Junction. The train only costs like 5 bucks.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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This is super-helpful, and you are a definite authority that i respect, Coywolf.

Earlier, Honey Crust suggested that the route you advise through Grand Junction/Rockies might be cold in mid May with only MSS patrol bag and bivvy- any thoughts on this?

Do i need the middle bag (grey one, the improved update of the old black one) as a "sleeps cold" person? Or will i almost certainly make it from Durango -> Denver (where i can get my man from Ft Collins to pick me up if needed) in one day and not have to worry much about sleeping out?

i have been watching your videos with envy- i think i am too old for train-riding but wish that had been part of my nomad life back when i was young and spry.

Please keep the advice coming y'all.
 
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Coywolf

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My advice hitching through Colorado, Spring or otherwise, is to ALWAYS take more gear than you would think to need.

That patrol bag setup is nice. I would take the whole thing. If you get stuck in Silverton, Ouray, or Glenwood you will be grateful that you brought it. The hitching is easy in CO, but you can get stuck, and its fucking cold at 9,000 ft Elevation. Not to mention the weather is erratic.

But seriously, that is the best route. May should be totally fine.

Another option is to take the Hwy 550 West out of Durango to Cortez, CO then hitch north thru Moab, UT to the I-70 if the weather is super bad.

You could also take the Co-145 north out of Cortez to Telluride>Ridgeway>Grand Jct, if you want to hit some hot springs along the way and see a SUPER scenic route. Highly recommended.

And thank you for the kind words. I wish I was still on the road at the moment. Always looking to help out travelers.
 

Coywolf

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They definitely pray on out-of-towners.
Fuck Nebraska.
This X 1,000. I know you said you might not like to hop trains, but dude, some trains outta Denver go STRAIGHT to Lincoln, NB

Also, hitching from DEN to Ft. Collins, if you decide to, F the I-25. Take the Bus to Boulder, CO. then hitch the 119 to to Longmont, then take the 287 to Ft. Collins. So easy. I have a love/hate realtionship with the Front Range.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Coywolf: it's not that i don't want to hop trains at all, i am very curious and eager, but

1) i just like having all my body parts, and

2) have all the criminal offenses on my record that i currently require, and

3) am definitely too old and feeble for catching on the fly, and also

4) am totally aware of my vast ignorance of the topic of train-hopping, and the potential for ignorance in this area to lead to very bad things.

That said, after living with train-kids in Vermont and listening to them and reading their CCG, i have looked at stopped freightcars, and those grainers look like a nice ride. And having written graffiti on NYC transit as a kid in the '70s-'80s, i have spent a lot of time sneaking around train yards not getting caught by The Man. But i don't run as fast as i did then.

And i would much rather smoke my Colorado reefer for a few hours on a freight-car than pretend to be born-again to get rides from farmers in between getting searched by those Neb. cops folks have been warning me about..

If you can school me on catching out from Denver to Lincoln via PM, the many gods and goddesses will doubtless repay your kindness.
 
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Coywolf

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hey man, At least you have it right. Most people think its as easy as hopping in a boxcar. If you have some time to kill, and are interested, read the Trainhopping forum here. There are multiple threads about getting from Denver to Lincoln.

Also:


I would recommend all of Stobe"s videos. RIP.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Watched that vid, thanx. Based on that video, Satan in Hell gets tips from McCook, Neb., and other parts of Nebraska, on how to torment folks.

That is a good advertisement for greyhound, i would probably break my neck hopping out of a moving train to avoid entering the Lincoln yard. i think i will either extort busfare from my professor pals at UNL, or not go visit them.

Jesus, Nebraska looks like a shithole... I have never seen anything so flat, even the desert in Iran and Afghanistan always had mountains you could see at the end of the flatness.

Sounds like the cops are such fucks for the same reason prison COs are- they have to live there too.
 
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Honey Crust

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Also, hitching from DEN to Ft. Collins, if you decide to, F the I-25. Take the Bus to Boulder, CO. then hitch the 119 to to Longmont, then take the 287 to Ft. Collins. So easy. I have a love/hate realtionship with the Front Range.
Might not even need to hitch to ft Collins. There’s a bus line run by Colorado dept of transportation called bustang that goes from Union station downtown to old town ft Collins in an hour for $10. I know that’s a lil steep, but if you take the FF1 or FF2 to downtown boulder from Denver, you can use that same $4.50 transfer to take the BOLT from boulder bus station to Longmont, where you can take the FLEX to the southern ft Collins transfer station, and then the ft Collins MAX the rest of the way.

Of course, that whole trip takes like three hours, but it’s guaranteed to get you to where you need to go if all else fails
 

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when you're ready to step outta yer ivory tower, let's talk;
I'm always eager fer pickin brains & lemme tell ya - pickin's been MIGHTY slim...
 
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I have traveled by bus and car traveling through Nebraska getting to Colorado and exiting Colorado. I smoke up my weed before leaving Colorado as precaution.

When I take the Hound (Greyhound) I never experienced being searched once the Hound crossed the Nebraska state line.

However, I have heard and rumor only and can't prove it that Greyhound buses were stopped now and then and searched once they leave the Colorado state line .

Older Than Dirt-age is just a number! Don't let it get to you and that's for anyone out there! Get out and enjoy the adventure of traveling and meeting people!
 
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Hey, Lots of experience hitching that area of Colorado/4-corners, here.

Best bet for hitching is, really, any route outta Durango. But if you want the BEST route hit the Hwy 550 north to Grand Junction. Then hitch the I-70 east to Denver. Hitch from Grand Junction or Glenwood Springs for the best results.

An alternate route is to hitch outta Durango going east on the Hwy 160 to the I-25. However it will be less scenic, and yield less rides.

Honestly, fuck the I-25. And Albuquerque for that matter. Hitching in that part of NM sucks balls, unless you are coming out of Santa Fe. DO NOT hitch out of Gallup, NM!!!! I cannot stress that enough. It is like 60/40 that you will get robbed or assaulted. From experience... Be careful hitching through the Reservation, if you don't have experience up there it *can* be dangerous.

Colorado is literally the best state for hitching outside of Cali/Oregon.
Coywolf-I wanted to ride my bike from Lamy, NM to Sante Fe NM to Durango then to Utah-any suggestions? This might be next year. Is that a safe route?
 

Coywolf

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Coywolf-I wanted to ride my bike from Lamy, NM to Sante Fe NM to Durango then to Utah-any suggestions? This might be next year. Is that a safe route?
I would just ride the Hwy 84 all the way to the Hwy 160 at Pagosa Springs, then take 160 west through Durango, then Cortez and take the 491 from cortex to Monticello, Utah.
 

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